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Issue 46, 2018
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Capillary force induced air film for self-aligned short channel: pushing the limits of inkjet printing

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Abstract

Ultrashort channels of electrodes are essential for the construction of advanced functional devices with high-level integration and high operation speed. However, the channel length of fabricated electrodes is limited to 20 μm in inkjet printing. Although several methods have been previously proposed to obtain short channels, they require extra processing steps. In this paper, channel self-aligning phenomenon was observed in directly patterned electrodes on unmodified substrate by inkjet printing, when using an interspace defects growing method. Further exploring the underlying mechanism reveals that the capillary force induced air film prevents droplets coalescence, even on a substrate with no temperature differences. The wetting region, which is generated by the receding droplets impingement, will draw droplets closer together at a larger drop space, thus demanding smaller air pressure for coalescence inhibition and contributing to the self-aligning phenomenon of micro-sized droplets released by inkjet printing. Accordingly, an ultrashort channel of 2.38 μm is obtained with relatively smooth boundaries, when electrodes are printed on a slightly heated substrate, which reduces the air pressure between two neighboring droplets. This work will provide a significant reference for future high resolution applications of inkjet printing technology.

Graphical abstract: Capillary force induced air film for self-aligned short channel: pushing the limits of inkjet printing

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Publication details

The article was received on 28 Sep 2018, accepted on 28 Oct 2018 and first published on 30 Oct 2018


Article type: Paper
DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01984C
Citation: Soft Matter, 2018,14, 9402-9410
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    Capillary force induced air film for self-aligned short channel: pushing the limits of inkjet printing

    R. Tao, Z. Fang, J. Zhang, H. Ning, J. Chen, C. Yang, Y. Zhou, R. Yao, Y. Song and J. Peng, Soft Matter, 2018, 14, 9402
    DOI: 10.1039/C8SM01984C

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